People who drink ionized alkaline water made by water ionizers have been claiming for years that it tastes better than regular water, and a study published in the Journal of Food Science proves that they are right.
The study: Effect of pH on the Taste of Alkaline Electrolyzed Water  is significant in light of the fact that doctors say that proper hydration is essential to good health. Since water has to compete with soda and other unhealthy drinks that people reach for when they are thirsty, any improvement to the taste of mineral-rich water could help people make healthier choices when they are thirsty. Research has demonstrated that consumption of alkaline water has a positive influence on bone health , thus the improvement in taste produced by a water ionizer has the potential to significantly impact the health of people who choose alkaline water over unhealthy alternatives.
Researchers compared water with low, moderate and high concentrations of beneficial minerals such as calcium, and found that people would associate higher concentrations of minerals in water with poor taste. However, when water is subjected to electrolysis in a water ionizer, the results were reversed. Mineral-rich water whose pH had been raised to 9.5 by a water ionizer was found to be unanimously preferred over all other water in the test by the 40 panelists selected for the study.
Electrolysis Improves the Taste of Mineral-Rich Water
The improvement in the taste of mineral rich water caused by electrolysis was attributed by the researchers to a change in the concentration of ions in the water. The researcher theorized that electrolysis reduces the concentration of mineral ions in water with high amounts of dissolved mineral ions (79 – 93 mg/L). The researchers found that as the water pH was increased by electrolysis, the concentration of calcium and sulfate ions in the water was reduced. Other mineral ions in the water, such as magnesium and potassium did not decline as much.
Keep in mind that electrolysis can’t eliminate minerals from water; it can only convert them into different forms. The study did not measure the amount of non-ionized calcium or sulfate that was in the water after electrolysis. Since water ionizers produce two streams of water, on alkaline and one acid, it is likely that the calcium remained in the alkaline water (in non-ionized form) since it would be attracted to the positive pole (alkaline side) of the ionization chamber. The sulfate ions would be more attracted to the negative pole (acid side) since they have a positive charge, so they would be released with the acid water.
Alkaline Water is a Great Source of Minerals
Research has shown that waterborne alkaline minerals are 30% more readily absorbed than food based minerals. Another benefit of ionized alkaline water is its (-) Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP), which gives the water antioxidant properties. The negatively charged water is able to donate electrons to free radicals, neutralizing their toxic effects. Also when the water is ionized, it is more easily absorbed at the cellular level improving overall hydration. This increased absorption also facilitates the detoxification process, helping the body rid itself of all water soluble toxins. All this in a glass of water!
Has the FDA evaluated the taste of alkaline water?
The FDA does not evaluate the taste of foods or beverages. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.
 Koseki, M, and Y Tanaka, et al. “Effect of pH on the Taste of Alkaline Electrolyzed Water.” Wiley Online Library. Journal of Food Science, 6 Jun 2007. Web. 8 Jul 2013. <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2007.00384.x/abstract>.
 Wynn, E, M.A. Krieg, J.M. Aeschlimann, and P Burckhardt. “Alkaline mineral water lowers bone resorption even in calcium sufficiency: alkaline mineral water and bone metabolism.” Bone. Elsevier, 27 Oct 2008. Web. 8 Jul 2013. <http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(08)00781-3/abstract>.